t was a hot day in June and the Rugrats were packing for their summer camp,
Camp Coyote. Didi read them the supply list.
"Water bottle, backpack, sleeping bag, pillow, hat, recreational items, bathing suit, towel, clothing for two weeks, sunglasses, flashlight, extra pair of shoes, toiletries, sun screen, bug repellant, light jacket. ABSOLUTELY NO electronic games, candy (or other snacks), CD or tape players."
The Rugrats packed according to the list, also packing other things like playing
cards and journals.
Meanwhile, at Camp Coyote, Mark Trail, a park ranger and director of Camp Coyote, was patrolling the park in his jeep when he got a phone call. He picked up his cell phone and held it to his ear.
"Hello?" he said.
"Hello, Mark," said a voice at the other end, "This is Sara Smith, the camp counselor. I am resigning."
"What?!" cried Mark, "But then we'll be a counselor sort!"
"Well, use one of Counselors in Training," Sara suggested, "That Lila Redman seems ready to me."
"But Sara!" Mark said, "She hasn't fully learned all of the trails yet!"
"Then don't use her," Sara said irritably, "I don't care." Then she hung up. Mark had no choice. He dialed Lila's cell phone number.
"Hello?" Lila said.
"Lila, this is Mark," said Mark, "There's been a change of plans. You're the new counselor."
"But I'm not ready!" Lila protested, "I haven't completely learned all of the trails yet!"
"I have no choice," Mark argued, "Sara resigned!"
"Fine," said Lila, "I'll be the new counselor. But I still don't think I'm ready!"
"Good," said Mark, and he hung up.
Back with the Rugrats, it was time to leave for camp. Their parents drove to the site. It was only twenty miles away.
When they arrived, the Rugrats said goodbye to their parents and entered the
camp gates. There, a counselor named Helen Jackson lead them to the camp's "theater"
where Mark would be speaking to them. When all of the kids were settled, Mark
"Hello, campers, and welcome to Camp Coyote. For two weeks, you involve yourself in various camp activities, such as canoeing, crafts, and campfire building contests. After I finish talking you will be assigned your cabins. Now, lets review the camp rules..."
When Mark stopped, the kids stood in a line to be assigned to there cabin. Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Dil, and Kimi were in the blue cabin. Lila was their counselor.
When they got to the cabin, they laid their sleeping bags on the cots. Lila
"There will be thirty minutes of quiet free time, where you must stay in your cabin, but you may do what you wish. After that, it's craft time for one hour. Then you have playtime in the field for an hour. Penny will be leading organized games, or you can play on your own. After that you will have a few minutes of rest before dinner. When dinner is over, we'll light a campfire and sing songs and tell stories while we roast marshmallows. That will last for thirty minutes, then you will get ready for bed. You may read or write in your journal in bed. Lights out at 10:00."
So Lila left the Rugrats alone for their thirty minutes of quiet free time.
"Why didn't Angelica and Susie come to the camp?" Lil asked.
"They're going to go on a backpacking trip with their family," Kimi answered.
"Hey, aren't they backpacking in the forest?" Tommy wanted to know.
"Yeah, maybe we'll see them!" said Dil.
"So, do you want to play some cards?" Chuckie asked his friends.
"Sure!" they said. So they played a game of go fish.
After a while, the thirty minutes of quiet free time ended. So all the campers
went outside for crafts. Felicia, the crafts director, explained the project.
"We are going to make Fire Sticks," she announced, "Everyone will find a stick, and we will decorate them with string, ribbon, sequins, and paint. There will be a contest for the best looking Fire Stick. Then, when we have a campfire, throw the stick in the fire and make a wish. If your stick doesn't burn completely, your wish comes true."
So the campers began work on their Fire Sticks.
When everyone had finished, the contest began. A boy named Ted Evans won.
Then they headed toward the field. The Rugrats ran off in different directions to do different things. Then they went back to their cabin. Lila was there. The Rugrats collapsed, exhausted, on their cots.
After that they had dinner and then they lighted a fire. They roasted marshmallows, sang songs, told stories, and tossed their Fire Sticks in. Most people's wishes came true.
Then the Rugrats went to bed.
The next day, Lila told them that they were going on a long hike. They would be back just in time for dinner. They would eat lunch on the trip. They were leaving right after breakfast.
The Rugrats were excited as the started off on their backpacking expedition. Lila lead the way.
"We are on the blue trail, because we are the blue cabin," Lila explained, "The blue signs on the trees lead the way."
Lila pointed to a square of blue plastic nailed with one nail into a tree.
They walked on.
Meanwhile, a half a mile away on the blue trail at a fork in the path, some pranksters were taking the blue signs out of the trees!
They pried them out of the trees and left. They left one blue sign in one tree, that was pointing to the wrong path. Half a mile back, the Rugrats and Lila were eating lunch.
"Boy am I hungry!" said Dil, stuffing himself. When they had finished lunch, they continued. When they came to the fork in the path, they went in the direction of the blue sign. They went the wrong way! Lila lead them farther down the path. Deeper and deeper into the woods.
"Hmmm," Lila thought, "We should be to the pond by now. Oh, well. We're probably just going a little slow. We'll be there in no time."
But thirty minutes past and they still weren't at the pond. Lila began to worry.
"Isn't there supposed to be a pond up here?" Phil asked.
"Yes," Lila replied, "In fact, we should be there by now."
"Are we lost?" Lil asked.
"I hope not," said Lila. But she sounded worried. They decided to walk on a little ways. So they did. But they did not reach the pond.
"Guys," Lila said, "I think we're lost."
"Will we ever get home?" Dil worried.
"Of course," Lila assured him, "We just have to wait for some park ranger to come find us."
"Who knows how long that will take?" Kimi wondered. Lila gulped. No one would even be looking for them yet. It wasn't time for them to have gotten back yet. There was yet another hour before people would begin to worry, maybe even more.
"I'm hungry," Tommy complained.
"We're going to have to ration our food," Lila told him, "We won't eat for another thiry minutes or so." The Rugrats groaned.
Then Lila heard a clap of thunder. She counted the seconds between the clap
of thunder and the next. Five seconds. That meant the storm wasc five miles
away. Lila hoped it wasn't heading in their direction.
Thirty minutes passed and it was time for them to eat what they had. The storm never reached them. Lila pulled the remainder of their snacks and what was left of lunch from her backpack. The kids attacked the food and gobbled it all up. Then they heard voices! Coming from...from...they couldn't tell.
"That sounds like Angelica and Susie!" Chuckie exclaimed.
"We're saved!" Tommy cried.
To Be Continued
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